August 6, 2021

Homeschool Readin’, ‘Ritin’, and ‘Rithmetic with the 8 Great Smarts

Every homeschooler must contend with the parameters of the homeschool law in his or her state of residence. In addition to that, we aim to discern what each of our children may actually need – in due time – to launch successfully into adult life. We know that every child must be able to understand spoken language and comprehend a variety of written texts. We realize that each should speak comprehensibly and communicate clearly in writing. And we accept that the ability to work with certain mathematical constructs – particularly those related to arithmetic – is essential to managing as an adult.

But how do we figure out what else each child should study? And how can we most effectively help our kids maneuver through and master whatever we decide each one needs?

I believe that a powerful answer to such questions comes from what was originally called the theory of multiple intelligences – i.e., the subject of both Kathy Koch’s book, 8 Great Smarts, and my forthcoming companion for homeschooling parents, 8 Great Smarts for Homeschoolers.

In 8 Great Smarts for Homeschoolers, I examine the broad subject areas homeschoolers consider – math, language arts, science, social studies, fine arts, religious education, and electives – in light of each of the eight multiple intelligence strengths with which kids (and adults) are wired (i.e., body, logic, music, nature, people, picture, self, and word smart). Drawing from my own experiences and that of some veteran homeschooling friends, I give practical and creative suggestions for how to tackle each subject with each smarts strength in mind.

For example, it makes intuitive sense that a logic-smart child may resonate with math and that a word-smart teen may enjoy language arts. But what about the highly nature-smart kid who must still demonstrate mathematical competency, or the very body-smart child who must, of course, learn to read and write? And how can we use each smarts strength to facilitate the study of other subjects, such as science, history, and religious education? Beyond the basics, how can we harness the smarts to customize a kid’s elective studies in order to maximize his joy in learning and perhaps even guide him toward an eventual career path?

8 Great Smarts for Homeschoolers addresses these questions and more. My prayer as I wrote was that those in the homeschooling community I love would be blessed and encouraged to persevere in the task of holistically raising and educating their children. That is my continued prayer now as you pick it up and begin reading.


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